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K&L Staff Recommendations
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors’ Choice* Husch is one of the original Anderson Valley wineries and has not been a particular Pinot Noir star, but this fantastic 2014 may start a trend. Fresh and alive, the wine is medium bodied but packs lots of tangy cherry and almost jammy plum flavors into a smooth but lightly tannic texture that provides great structure. Simply delicious, it’s balanced well enough to enjoy time after time." (3/2017) K&L Notes: Husch, founded in 1967, is the oldest winery in the Anderson Valley appellation which over the last decade has become one of the hotbeds of Amer... Read More »
Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Sonoma County) is a pretty, attractive wine to drink now and over the next few years. Sweet red cherry and floral notes grace the mid-weight, feminine finish. This is a very pretty, understated appellation Pinot that delivers a compelling combination of quality, value and production. The Sonoma County is a blend of declassified barrels and some purchased fruit. (AG)" (2/2016) K&L Notes: As difficult as it is to produce excellent Pinot Noir, it is even more difficult to do so at a fine value. In their development of the Banshee label, the winemake... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This is such a good offering at this price, or many other prices, that it would be a worthy house wine to stock for regular consumption. Richly luxurious and softly layered, its texture stands out among well-integrated jolts of earth, black tea and strawberry-rhubarb." (6/2016)
Wine & Spirits: "Made by Banshee, one of W&S’s 2015 Wineries of the Year, this contains declassified barrels of their Sonoma Coast wines as well as fruit from Anderson Valley, Monterey and Santa Barbara. It’s aged almost exclusively in used wood, resulting in a balanced Pinot Noir with clean, bold dark-cherry flavors and tangy acidity that drinks far above its humble price." (4/2016) Wine Enthusiast: "A smooth texture and ripe, inviting black cherry flavors make this medium-bodied wine easy to drink and enjoy. Light spicy accents give it extra interest and moderate tannins help build the su ...Read More »
"Year in and year out one of our best values in Pinot Noir. If you don't believe me, just ask any K&L customer." (Illya Haase, K&L Staff Member) This wine comes to us from Sonoma County's Martin Ray Winery, owned by Courtney Benham (creator of the Blackstone brand). This multi-county blend of Pinot Noir has been well-received in recent years, earning consistent praise for the solid varietal character it delivers at a modest price.
James Suckling: "A bright and fresh pinot noir with sliced lemon, strawberry and flower character. Medium body, crisp and clean. Light tannins and clean and fresh finish." (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another undeniable value is the 2014 Pinot Noir Olema, a Sonoma cuvée that would qualify as a sleeper as well. Pomegranate, allspice and clove intermix with sassafras in this medium-bodied, deliciously fruity, round seductive Pinot Noir to drink over the next several years. Even the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Olema offers plenty of value in an elegant, tasty, cedary, blackcurrant-scented and flavor ...Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Translucent red. High-pitched red berry, cherry and rose pastille scents are lifted by blood orange and mineral nuances. Silky, weightless and focused on the palate, offering juicy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become deeper and sweeter with air. Shows impressive depth of flavor but comes off lithe, even delicate. Clings with serious tenacity on the gently tannic finish, which strongly echoes the red fruit and floral notes. Talley's side project, which is not exactly a second label as the wines may include fruit that is sourced from outside Ar ...Read More »
Named for founder Rudy von Strasser, the "Rudy" label is best known around here for top-quality, well-priced Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Look for fine tannins that complement good acidity and rich, red fruit flavors. 2014 is the 25th vintage for the von Strasser winery, during which time they've won the "Winery of the Year" award from Wine and Spirits magazine an astonishing 12 times.
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The nose of this wine is quite shy at first, and it takes patience to pull out aromas of plum, crushed berries and a touch of charcoal. The palate opens up more quickly, showing elderberries and elderflowers, plus rose hips and a touch of fennel. (MK)" (11/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Strikingly rich and complex, with a dense core of dark berry, black licorice, earth and cedar flavors that hold their own, easing up on the finish. Drink now." (9/2016)
Field Recordings is a small winery in Paso Robles that was started by Andrew Jones, who began his wine journey as a nursery vine grower and has stepped foot in nearly all the vineyards on the Central Coast of California. All his vineyard expertise is translated into his bottled wine, Field Recordings and Wonderwall (and also wine-in-a-can under the labels Alloy Wine Works and Fiction). Wonderwall focuses on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from extreme Central Coast vineyards.
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a fabulous wine at this level. Sweet spices, rose petal, mint and succulent cherry/plum notes all lift from the glass. Supple and beautifully layered throughout, the Sonoma Coast hits all the right notes. A final burst of fruit rushes across the palate on the refreshing, inviting wine. There is so much to like. (AG)" (2/2016) 91 points Wine & Spirits: "The nine vineyards that go into this wine range from Olivet in the middle of the Russian River Valley to Bohan and Hirsch on the far-coast ridges. It’s inviting, with plump red fruit and tangy aci ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the last vintage where the vineyard was managed by Wes Hagen, the 2014 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard sports a deep ruby color as well as serious ripeness in its big, exuberant, black fruit, black raspberries, roasted herbs and overflowing spice aromas and flavors. Drink this petal to the metal, yet always balanced and still fresh Pinot Noir anytime over the coming 4-5 years. It’s always a blast to taste with Brian Loring, and these latest releases are rock solid. Brian called 2014 the best vintage since 2010, going on to say the vintage offered b ...Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "*** Smart Buy *** Offering gorgeous floral scents of lavender, plum, smoke and raspberry, this casts a wide net of red and dark fruit, veering toward toasty oak on the finish. A nice ride from beginning to end. Drink now. (JL)" (8/2016)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Entirely sourced from Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo County, Fossil Point is named for the headland area along the rugged coastline. The marine breezes have a distinct influence on the Edna Valley terroir that is itself uplifted, ancient sea floor. Pinot Noir grapes grow in small clusters and Fossil Point vinifies traditionally in small lots before the wine is aged in neutral and once-used French oak barrels. The wine displays floral aromas with bright and vibrant cherry and berry fruit, leather, and vanilla.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a gorgeously light coastal offering, a subdued expression of the variety that unravels its layers slowly and methodically. Red cherry, lavender and blueberry are revealed on the palate as perfumed shocks of rose and salty air permeate the nose. Vibrantly crisp, it has a slight grip to the velvety texture." (2/2017) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "This iteration of Flowers’ multi-vineyard blend from western Sonoma is a bit lush compared to some other vintages, perhaps due to the warmth of the 2014 growing season, yet it’s stitched together by brisk coastal acidity and the tannins ...Read More »
97 points Vinous: "The 2015 Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch, from Marinelli's coolest Pinot site, is another stunner. Silky, nuanced and wonderfully expressive on the palate, the 2015 possesses remarkable intensity but in a decidedly mid-weight style by Martinelli standards. Dense and compact in its center, the 2015 needs at least a few years to open up. Even today, though, it is dazzling. Early to bloom and late to ripen, Bondi Home Ranch enjoys an especially long growing season. (AG)" (3/2017) K&L Notes: Bondi Home Ranch is planted with Pinot Noir clones 115, 777, 667, 828, 943, and Cale... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*#9 on the Enthusiast 100 of 2016, Editors' Choice* While this wine’s Mount Eden sister bottling may better stand the test of time, the Domaine Eden is what most people will most like to drink right now, and it’s cheaper too. Aromas of dried violets, uncrushed boysenberries and pencil lead make for an ethereal nose that seems to hold secrets one must uncover. Precise tannins on the palate offer floral yet savory flavors of black sesame, nori, violet and mulberry. It’s mellow yet mysterious. (MK)" (12/2016) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sporting a deeper ruby color, the 2013 Pinot Noir ...Read More »
92 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Two Stars* More than once we have found a great deal to like in the straight appellation bottlings of top-notch Pinot producers, and here is just such an example that rivals and even surpasses several of its pricier cellarmates with respect to balance, fruity depth and real varietal beauty. It is moderately full, slightly fleshy in feel and very well-balanced, and, while it impresses as a Pinot of many parts, it impresses at least as much for the way in which those parts are seamlessly joined. It is no stretch to see richness and refinement intersecting ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Bringing together multiple sites in one wine, this provides a fine example of the sum equalling more than the parts. Well balanced and crafted, it offers aromas of sandalwood and smoked meat that contrast with more exuberant, textured layers of black cherry and citrus peel. (VB)" (2/2017) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "Sourced from vineyards throughout the Russian River Valley, including Hallberg and Galante in the cooler Green Valley AVA, this is a refreshing and mouthwatering pinot noir with the crunchy, tart flavor of blackberries growing in the shade. Open a bottle ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir North Slope is fabulous, has a huge upside to it and probably will benefit from several years of bottle age. All of these were scheduled to be bottled in 2015. This is 100% clone 115 and Stephen Hansel says it’s the most fruit-forward of the wines. It is certainly seductive, hedonistic, with a dense ruby/purple color, beautiful black raspberry and black cherry fruit, a big medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, loads of glycerin and hedonism. It should turn out to be exceptional, but I do think it needs some time after it’s bottled to start ...Read More »
Outlier is a fitting name for this outfit run by winemaker/owner Derek Rohlffs, who orchestrates his unique efforts from his home base in the middle of the San Francisco Bay on Treasure Island.
92 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and lively, offering dense, complex blueberry, boysenberry and raspberry notes that fold together. Tightly focused, rich and expansive on the aftertaste, where the flavors linger. Drink now." (3/2016) 89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The first vintage for this cuvee from Brian, the 2014 Pinot Noir Kessler-Haak Vineyard comes from a site in the Sta. Rita Hills located just to the west of Clos Pepe. It has a terrific perfume of spice, black currants, violets and the classic earthiness of the region, as well as tons of richness on the palate, a forward, sexy texture and a good finish. ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Readers looking for a classic, incredibly well made Pinot Noir to buy by the case should look no further than Josh's 2014 Pinot Noir from the Central Coast AVA. Supple, sexy, seamless and elegant, with classic Calera notes of raspberries, mulled cherries, spice and dried soil, it has no hard edges, a core of sweet fruit and a beautiful finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. I'm sure it will keep for 4-5 years (probably longer), but there's no need to delay gratification. Don't miss this fabulous effort and bravo to the Calera team for delivering ...Read More »
We couldn't be more excited to bring you another installment in what hopefully will turn out to be a long, fruitful project with wineries from around the United States, working with us directly to make exclusive bottlings for our customers. The Domestic team here at K&L has spent a great deal of time kicking around the idea of approaching wineries or winemakers we love, and asking them to work with us to create exclusive wines to our specifications. Furthermore we wanted to not only promote these outstanding wines, but the wineries behind them (rather th... Read More »
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Estate is one of the stars from the appellation, and the vintage. Offering fabulous notes of black cherries, currants, crushed rocks and sous bois, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, building tannin and a killer finish. This is a sensational Pinot Noir that can be enjoyed today, or cellared for a decade or more. Looking at the 2013s from Jeffrey Patterson, these are serious wines that need to be on your short list for purchasing, and both the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are in the top handful of wines in t ...Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*** Editors' Choice *** There’s a rugged earthiness and delicious meaty character to this fantastic bottling, which shows dried cranberries, dried olallieberry, smoked pork and hummingbird sage on the brawny nose. A similar power infects the palate, where red and black cherry meet with plum, mulberry, cola, shaved chocolate and a deepening sage character, finishing on crushed mint. (MK)" (8/2016)
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Light but plump red strawberry fruit mixes with sandalwood, dried sage and thyme on this nose of this estate wine from winemaker Greg Brewer. Lots of spicy herbals show on the palate, from peppercorn and cardamom to thyme and oregano, giving deeper character to the light red-fruit core. (MK)" (12/2015) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "One of the best values in Pinot Noir out there is Melville's 2013 Pinot Noir Estate and it overdelivers in just about every vintage. Firing on all cylinders on this occasion, with complex red fruits, rose petal and sous bois aromas and flavors all soaring fr ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce, which is made from a field blend of Dijon clones 115 and 777, is also backward and restrained. I can totally understand Stephen Hansel’s statement that the 2013 Pinots are very European with their reserved character. This is a big wine, dense, ruby in color, with terrific fruit intensity, but the tannins still dominate, and the wine has good acidity and a backward personality. It’s not austere by any means and should blossom fully with another 1-2 years of bottle age. It could turn out to be a low- to mid-90 pointer. It’s ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Red cherry, vanilla, chaparral scrub and cranberry puree show on the nose of this bottling from the longtime estate, and then come the intriguing olive and Middle Eastern spices. The palate hones in on that Mediterranean spice character, with Kalamata olives blending into lavender, exotic mulberry and thyme-laced cherry-plum sauce." (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A well made, charming effort that offers lots of raspberry, cherry and spice aromas and flavors, the 2014 Classic Estate Pinot Noir (from various clones) is forward, nicely textured and ready to go. I ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "It’s hard not to jump up and down about the outstanding value represented here, a wine made from Dutton Ranch fruit that’s juicy and generous in baked strawberry, earth and rose petals. A grippy structure provides weight around nuanced, spicy cherry-pie flavor and plenty of body to satisfy." (12/2016)
93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is terrific. Bright, nuanced and savory, the straight Russian River Pinot has all the attributes of this strong vintage. Sweet floral notes round out a Pinot that is understated and silky. This is a rare appellation-level Pinot that could use another few years in bottle to fully flesh out. Paul Hobbs describes 2013 as a consistently warm, dry year but without excesses. I remember stopping by in January of that year, and being quite surprised when Hobbs told me he was likely to start irrigating imminently, which ...Read More »
Rod and Lynn Berglund carry the mantle for this historic Russian River Valley winery as it marches into its 50th year.
92 points Wine Spectator: "Dark-hued, rich and spicy, with an enticing core of mocha-laced blackberry, cherry, spice and floral scents. Ends as it begins, bold and rich. Drink now through 2026." (1/2017) K&L Notes: Joe Wagner learned the trade at the feet of his family before launching his own brand and jettisoning it to great heights. The vineyard notes: "The Spanish term ‘Las Alturas’ means ‘the heights’, a fitting name for this vineyard located on one of the highest grape-growing benches in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. At this elevation, the sunny but very cool climate creates a wine bear... Read More »
If it looks like a duck, that's because Goldeneye is indeed part of the Duckhorn Vineyards family of wineries, including Migration and Decoy. Goldeneye is the Napa Valley winery's far-north outpost, in Anderson Valley. From a stellar vintage, the 2014 Pinot is the whole package: superb balance, texture and flavor. Notes from the winery: "Nestled amongst the coastal redwoods of the majestic Anderson Valley, Goldeneye’s estate vineyards yield wines that exude the characteristics of their surroundings. Charming, but with a hint of wildness, plush yet rustic... Read More »
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star & Good Value* It may not be cheap, but this is a Pinot that outperforms at the price. It leads with a moderately deep, nicely composed nose of ripe cherries, raspberries and dried roses with a well-considered dollop of sweet oak, and its rich and continuous flavors build on its very handsome aromatic beginnings. Although moderately full-bodied, it is so lissome and lithe that it never seems in the least bit heavy, and, as free of angles and edges as it may be, it nonetheless has the structural inner bones to improve for a few years and then kee ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This is the brand’s first bottling under new ownership, and the result of this blend of Monterey, Sonoma and Santa Barbara county fruit is familiarly ripe— due in part to the inclusion of 10% Merlot, 6% Chardonnay and 2% Syrah. Pomegranate, clove, vanilla and rum aromas lead into a juicy palate of candied red fruit, slate, anise and Earl Grey tea. It’s slightly sweet but easily enjoyable. (MK)" (4/2017) Wine Spectator: "An enticing if weighty mouthful, rich and deeply flavored, anchored by tiers of blackberry, blueberry, wild berry, cherry and raspberry flavors. Round and ...Read More »
94 points Vinous: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Upper Picnic is endowed with a real sense of explosive energy that elevates it in this range. The flavors are dark and intense throughout, but it is the wine's center and overall depth that are most compelling at this stage. Still quite primary, the Upper Picnic could use a few years in bottle to enter the sweet spot. The Upper Picnic offers a compelling interplay of intensity and freshness. These own-rooted vines were planted in 1981. I have to admit, my most recent tasting with Bob and Jim Varner was bittersweet. The Varners have e ...Read More »
90 points Vinous: "The 2013 Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley) is quite floral, lifted and delicate in style. Raspberry, crushed flowers and mint are some of the notes that grace this pretty, entry-level offering from Knez. Today, the 2013 comes across as a bit ethereal, with plenty of influence from the 50-60% whole clusters. The wine's mid-weight personality leads me to think it is best enjoyed sooner rather than later. The 2013 is approximately 2/3rds Cerise and 1/3rd Demuth fruit. (AG)" (1/2015)
A member of Jackson Family Wines, Hartford Court is an award-winning producer of appellation-designate and single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and old vine Zinfandel from low-yielding vineyards in prime regions throughout Sonoma County.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Peppery spice and a nose of violets and roses mark the entry and midpalate of this wine, priced moderately for the appellation. Layered, with a twinge of yeasty baked bread, it has a strong personality, stemmy and feral, with a lasting linger of grenadine. (VB)" (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir displays straightforward pomegranate, red currant, and sweet and sour cherries in a medium-bodied, pleasant style. (RP)" (3/2016)
Wells Guthrie received his winemaking training in France and built up his Copain brand over the years before selling to Jackson Family Wines in 2016. Guthrie has stayed on as winemaker and continues to explore new sites for his small-lot wines.
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Jensen's 2013 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard is a beauty! It possesses a medium ruby color and sumptuous notes of mulled cherries, raspberries, dusty earth, spice box and wild herbs. Medium-bodied, richly textured, balanced and lively, with good acidity and a great finish, this is a terrific Pinot Noir to drink over the coming decade. (JD)" (6/2016) 95 points Wine Enthusiast: "A fascinating feral quality wraps around this wine, redolent of mottled animal hair, raw meat and scraped earth, like the scene of a freshly hunted wild boar. Aromas of mulberry and dark strawberry also show on the ...Read More »
Believing that "wine is not an athletic event," Robert Sinskey does not send wine out for review, but his organic and biodynamically farmed wines in the Carneros region--unusual for Cabernet Sauvignon, but it has a history there--and Stags Leap District are highly regarded.
As the name indicates, this Pinot Noir is vinified entirely in stainless steel. After hand sorting and destemming, the berries are fermented a style similar to carbonic maceration, resulting in a very aromatic, bright wine.
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The polished, elegantly styled 2014 Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills gives up lots of black cherry, crushed flowers, leather and spice aromas and flavors to go with a medium-bodied, supple and nicely textured profile on the palate. This fresh, nicely focused 2014 has nicely integrated acidity, very polished tannin and the balance and depth to keep for 5-6 years. As I commented last year, there have been significant changes at Brewer-Clifton recently and Steve Clifton is no longer involved at the estate. However, Greg Brewer remains the driving force here, and ...Read More »
90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Scheduled to be bottled in August, the 2014 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands bottling comes more from the northern part of the appellation in 2014 (the 2013 was mostly from the southern end). It has lots of sweet cherries, roast, violets and minty characteristics as well as a ripe, voluptuous and still lively feel on the palate. More red-fruit dominated than the 2013, it's similarly styled and should certainly be an outstanding wine... I think Adam is making better wines today than he ever has. (JD)" (8/2015) 90 points Vinous: "Bright ruby. Lively red fruit and floral aromas ...Read More »
93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a tremendous appellation level Pinot. Deep, textured and resonant, the 2014 possesses striking depth and elegance not to mention impeccable overall balance. Succulent red cherry, smoke, licorice and blood orange infuse this deeply expressive Pinot Noir from Steve Kistler's Occidental winery. Readers who can find the 2014 should not hesitate. It is every bit as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel. Quite frankly, the Sonoma Coast Pinot is not that far off the level of the vineyard designates. (AG)" (3/2017) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Med ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* A complex and complete wine with everything in place, this tastes delicious from the first whiff to the lingering finish. It has fresh-baked bread and light peach aromas and white-cherry flavors. Well balanced, it’s layered on a subtle level and harmonious. (JG)" (12/2015) 92 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*Good Value* While many sparkling Rosés emphasize vinosity and substance, Roederer versions have always aimed in a brighter, more buoyant direction, and this latest is no exception. It marries plenty of vigorous young, lightly cherry-like fruit with well-delineated yea ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Grace Benoist Ranch Estate comes from different clonal materials, was aged 12 months, and is a pleasant, consumer-friendly style of Pinot Noir with red and blackcurrants, apple skin, earth and underbrush. It builds up incrementally in the mouth and has a nice long finish. Drink it over the next 4-5 years. Etude has always made a bevy of delicious wines, with their Cabernet Sauvignons their highest rated and most promising. Etude makes a bunch of Pinot Noirs, and I went through them, from different areas I generally don’t cover. Their ...Read More »